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Joshua 9-12


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson      
Thru the Bible in a Year
       To their credit, the Gibeonites recognize in Israel and its God a threat greater than they are prepared to handle.  Therefore, through a subterfuge, they persuade their potential enemies to sign a treaty with the.  As a result, one of the major sections of the Promised Land passes over to Israel without even a battle.  God is already keeping His promise to go ahead of them.
       Next the Amorite kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Lachish, Debir and Jarmuth form an alliance to retake Gibeon from the control of Israel.  After an all-night march (another aspect of Joshua's dedication to tactical surprise), Joshua's army attacks the confederation forces.  Because the battle lasts long into the afternoon, Joshua prays that God will not allow the sun to set and in response, God causes it to stand still.  The five Ammorite kings are killed making it easier to conquer the territory under their control.
       After this, the Israelites (always with God's help) conquer cities to the south and to the north.  The cities and all their inhabitants are destroyed and the list of kings (often just rulers of one city) is impressive.
       The Israelites fail to carry out God's plan because they jump to conclusions regarding the Gibeonites.  Often we make snap decisions regarding the character, reliability or talent of other people, and as a result get ourselves in trouble.  It is always good to seek God's guidance in relationships, whether something as life-changing as marriage, or as practical as the hiring of an employee.  First impressions are often inadequate -- especially in a world in which people intentionally deceive one another at times.
       Do you ever face what appears to be an impossible situation?  Perhaps as a parent you simply do not know what to do; or in some other relationship you cannot figure out how to help.  Maybe it seems that you do not have enough time, energy opportunity or help to make things happen or get things done.  We need to remember incidents such as the one in which God made the sun stand still for Joshua. 
       Certain preconditions that are obvious in Joshua's situation apply to us as well:  1)  he was trying to serve God (his request for God's intervention was not motivated by a desire for personal gain); 2) he was not trying to impress anyone just to get a job done (God seldom acts in ways designed to impress our friends  unless they are going to be impressed with Him, not us); 3) when the miracle was over Joshua went on with his life and work (God expects us to be impressed by what He does, but not get lost in it -- we have responsibilities and assignments which he may make easier, but we must still carry out).
       What would you like God to help you with today?  Why not ask Him.  Afterwards, go to work confident in His love and trusting in His power.
A. Eugene Pearson 2011